Accelerating Control of Pertussis in England and WalesArchived

ECDC comment

​Despite a reduction in pertussis among younger children and infants, rates of pertussis-related sickness and death remain high compared with rates for other vaccine-preventable diseases in England and Wales. Pertussis control is still far from optimal, and, as in other industrialised countries, the disease continues predominantly in young infants and in teenagers and adults, in whom immunity may have waned.

Campbell H, Amirthalingam G, Andrews N, Fry NK, George RC, Harrison TG, Miller E. Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Jan;18(1):38-47. doi: 10.3201/eid1801.110784.

This raises two major policy issues: how to better protect vulnerable infants and whether pertussis in teenagers and adults warrants targeted prevention. Future vaccine program changes should take these issues in consideration, although more information and scientific evidence are required to inform such decisions.